Another study has reported beneficial effects of a Mediterranean diet, this time in terms of brain volume.
Studies describing the benefits of a Mediterranean diet are becoming more widespread. We have previously reported on some of these studies:
A study investigating the effects of a Mediterranean diet on measured brain volume and cortical thickness has been published in the journal Neurology. Researchers used MRI to measure brain structure in over 650 elderly people, without dementia. In addition, their dietary intake was assessed and scored between 0-9 for association with a Mediterranean diet. The study reported that a greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet (scored between 5 and 9), was associated with greater total brain volume, total gray matter volume, and total white matter volume, compared with lower adherence to a Mediterranean diet. Further analysis determined that a higher amount of fish consumption, and lower amount of meat consumption were associated with larger total gray matter volume.
The researchers concluded that a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduction in brain atrophy (shrinkage), which was estimated as an equivalent of 5 years of ageing. Eating more fish and less meat appear to be key contributors to this effect.
Gu Y, Brickman AM, Stern Y, Habeck CG, Razlighi QR, Luchsinger JA, Manly JJ, Schupf N, Mayeux R, Scarmeas N. “Mediterranean diet and brain structure in a multiethnic elderly cohort.” Neurology. 2015 Oct 21.
Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD